March 1, 2024

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NFL Playoff picture: Lions beat North, still searching for top seed in NFC;  Jaguar collapses

NFL Playoff picture: Lions beat North, still searching for top seed in NFC; Jaguar collapses

The Detroit Lions won the division championship on Sunday for the first time since 1993. Dan Campbell's team captured the NFC North title in dramatic fashion, defeating the Minnesota Vikings 30-24.

Winning the division ensures the Lions will play at least one postseason game at Ford Field, and it remains possible for Detroit to secure a bye along with home-field advantage through the NFC playoffs. If the San Francisco 49ers lose to the Baltimore Ravens on Monday night, the Lions and Niners will be tied at 11-4 with two games remaining.

The 49ers will own the tiebreaker, but if San Francisco loses another game and Detroit wins, the Lions will bye. It's not a likely scenario, as you're about to see, but the Lions also just won their first division title in 30 years. everything is possible.

As for the rest of the NFL, Week 16 saw a lot of action in the playoff picture. Let's take a look at where things stand with three games remaining on Monday.

The listed odds of making the playoffs, securing the No. 1 seed, and winning the Super Bowl are all across The athleteNFL betting model created by Austin Mock.

Asian qualifiers photo

seed a team register Week 16 result

S–1

11-3

(TBD) vs. SF

S–2

11-4

W vs. D

3

9-5

(TBD) vs. LV

4

8-7

L vs. tuberculosis

5

10-5

W vs HOU

6

9-6

W vs LAC

7

8-7

L vs ATL

x — Clinched a playoff berth | z — Grab the division title

Baltimore Ravens

Quarterback Lamar Jackson has one playoff win on his resume, and the Ravens are averaging 13 points in his four games, so that will be a question mark in a few weeks. But if Jackson plays well in Monday's win over the San Francisco 49ers, it should go a long way toward alleviating some of those concerns.

Remaining schedule: At 49ers, vs. Miami Dolphins, vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

Prospect: To make the qualifiers: 100 percent | To earn a bye: 52.6 percent | To win the Super Bowl: 14.3 percent

Go deeper

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Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins just earned their first victory of the season on Sunday against the Cowboys, and they earned it with a game-winning drive just before the buzzer. This is huge, not only for a team looking to seed but also as the Dolphins work to build confidence heading into the playoffs. They are now in position to capture the top seed if they can win on Sunday in Baltimore.

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Remaining schedule: In Ravens vs. Buffalo Bills

Prospect: To make the qualifiers: 100 percent | To earn a bye: 32 percent | To win the Super Bowl: 12.7 percent

The Chiefs haven't beaten a team with a current winning record since beating the Dolphins in London on Nov. 5. They'll have a chance to eliminate that problem next Sunday against the Bengals, but will that victory be against a reserve team? Quarterback carrying too much weight? The Chiefs look vulnerable as they enter the postseason.

Remaining schedule: vs. Las Vegas Raiders, vs. Cincinnati Bengals, at Los Angeles Chargers

Prospect: For qualifying: 99.7 percent | To earn a bye: 11.9 percent | To win the Super Bowl: 12 percent

The Jags are on the back of four straight losses, and injuries to quarterback Trevor Lawrence are increasing by the week. Their offensive issues over the past two weeks can be explained by injuries and Lawrence's lack of practice time, but the defense is also leaking by giving up 29.5 points per game during the skid. Then again, the Bucs scored three touchdowns off turnovers, so the collapse became widespread.

Remaining schedule: vs. Carolina Panthers, at Tennessee Titans

Prospect: To make the qualifiers: 68.5 percent | To earn a bye: 0 percent | To win the Super Bowl: 1.7 percent

Quarterback Joe Flacco, who was sitting on his couch watching football five Sundays ago, has three straight 300-yard games for the first time in his career. He hasn't had three 300-yard games in an entire season since 2016. Just a great run.

Remaining schedule: vs. New York Jets, at Bengals

Prospect: To make the qualifiers: 100 percent | To earn a bye: 3.5 percent | To win the Super Bowl: 2.6 percent

Buffalo Bills

The Bills are starting a three-game winning streak in Kansas City, and they appear to be as dangerous as any team in the AFC. There's also the possibility we could see the next chapter of the Bills-Chiefs mini-rivalry in the wild card round.

Remaining schedule: At New England Patriots, at Dolphins

Prospect: To make the qualifiers: 90.1 percent | To earn a bye: 0 percent | To win the Super Bowl: 4.9 percent

The Colts laid an egg with a 29-10 loss in Atlanta, and are now in a four-way tie with the Texans, Steelers and Bengals. The Colts will almost certainly have to win and hope the tiebreaker works in their favor to reach the playoffs for the first time since 2020.

Remaining schedule: vs. Raiders vs. Houston Texans

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Prospect: To make the qualifiers: 66.3 percent | To earn a bye: 0 percent | To win the Super Bowl: 1 percent

In pursuit

• Houston Texans (8-7)
• Pittsburgh Steelers (8-7)
• Cincinnati Bengals (8-7)
• Denver Broncos (7-8)
• Las Vegas Raiders (6-8)

Excluded

• New York Jets (6-9)
• Tennessee Titans (5-10)
• Los Angeles Chargers (5-10)
• New England Patriots (4-11)


NFC playoff picture

seed a team register Week 16 result

Z–1

11-3

(TBD) vs. BAL

Z–2

11-4

W vs Min

Q–3

10-4

(TBD) vs. NYG

4

8-7

W v Jax

S–5

10-5

L vs MIA

6

8-7

W vs. no

7

8-7

W for ten

x — Clinched a playoff berth | z — Grab the division title

San Francisco 49ers

The Niners' six-game winning streak has come against some impressive opponents, and they have already beaten the Cowboys and Eagles this season. A win over the Ravens would solidify the 49ers as the team to beat in the playoffs.

Remaining schedule: vs. Ravens at Washington Commanders vs. Los Angeles Rams

Prospect: To make the qualifiers: 100 percent | To earn a bye: 91.8 percent | To win the Super Bowl: 26.5 percent

Detroit Lions

The Lions finally won the NFC North and will host a playoff game for the first time in 30 years. They will also be looking for their first postseason win in 32 years — and only their second in the Super Bowl era. In a convenient and sadistic way, they may have to go through fan favorite Matthew Stafford to get the job done.

Remaining schedule: At Dallas Cowboys, vs. Minnesota Vikings

Prospect: To make the qualifiers: 100 percent | To earn a bye: 5.6 percent | To win the Super Bowl: 1.4 percent

Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles are a prime example of why it's a waste of time to discuss the team's potential to go undefeated in October. No one expected a three-game losing streak that included consistency issues on offense (16.3 points per game) and a reshuffling of the defensive coaching staff. The Eagles have three winnable games before the playoffs, but they will have to prove themselves against better competition in January.

Remaining schedule: vs. New York Giants, vs. Arizona Cardinals, at Giants

Prospect: To make the qualifiers: 100 percent | To earn a bye: 6.1 percent | To win the Super Bowl: 6.4 percent

The Bucs have won four straight, but they didn't have to beat a quality opponent to make a statement with a blowout against the Jaguars. There won't be high expectations for the Buccaneers — or whoever wins the NFC South title — against the NFC East runner-up, but a playoff berth in a rebuilding year after a 4-7 start should be viewed as a huge success for Tampa.

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Remaining schedule: vs. New Orleans Saints, at Panthers

Prospect: To make the qualifiers: 87.5 percent | To earn a bye: 0 percent | To win the Super Bowl: 1.3 percent

Dallas Cowboys

With Sunday's loss at Miami, the Cowboys fall to 2-2 on the season in one-possession games, and they have only won once (Week 13 against the Seahawks) when they trailed after the first quarter. Their lack of success in closely contested games will be a concern again in the playoffs.

Remaining schedule: Opposite black, in leaders

Prospect: To make the qualifiers: 100 percent | To earn a bye: 0.5 percent | To win the Super Bowl: 7.5 percent

Go deeper

The Cowboys insist confidence is high after a second straight loss – both on the road

Los Angeles Rams

There was little reason to believe the Rams would be in this position when they were 3-6, but they have won five of six since the bye week and have a chance to play spoilers if they can continue this run toward the playoffs.

Remaining schedule: At the Giants, at the 49ers

Prospect: To make the qualifiers: 68.4 percent | To earn a bye: 0 percent | To win the Super Bowl: 1.3 percent

Go deeper

Puka Nacua shows why he's in the prime-time offensive ROY conversation as the Rams continue to roll

Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks don't collect many style points, but they have proven they can win close games, including game-winning drives from quarterbacks Geno Smith and Drew Lock in the last two games. If they can get healthy for the playoffs, this physical team that has just endured a bunch of tough opponents will be an unenviable opponent.

Remaining schedule: Against the Steelers, at the Cardinals

Prospect: To make the qualifiers: 67.3 percent | To earn a bye: 0 percent | To win the Super Bowl: 0.9 percent

In pursuit

• Minnesota Vikings (7-8)
• Atlanta Falcons (7-8)
• Green Bay Packers (7-8)
• New Orleans Saints (7-8)
• Chicago Bears (6-9)
• New York Giants (5-9)

Excluded

• Washington leaders (4-11)
• Arizona Cardinals (3-12)
• Carolina Panthers (2-13)

(Top image by Jared Goff: Stephen Maturin/Getty Images)


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